when it comes to horse racing, i’m an expert

May 21, 2009 | add comment

Psst…hey kid, over here. You look like you got an honest face, so I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. You wanna make a pretty penny on the ponies? Well, that there newspaper in your hand—the one with all the little numbers and the fine print—it’s useless. Junk. A waste of my time.

If you want to know how the horses are gonna do, look to the jockeys. No, not to see if they look underweight or if they’ve got a good handle on the horse. The secret, I’m telling you, is in the jockey’s silks. Go ahead, smirk. They always smirk at first. But this three-piece suit didn’t pay for itself. Same goes for the patent leathers. The pocket watch? That was a hand-me-down from my grandfather, the late Ulysses Marigold. But everything else I earned at Pimlico or Santa Anita, or somewhere in between.

You’re gonna walk away just like that, kid? I used to be just like you. I used to be you, poring over the newspapers, scribbling down which horses ran better on dirt or grass and who was the long shot or the jolly. I’m telling you—it doesn’t matter. Start studying jockey colors and you’ll be swimming in green. Take the one there riding Timbuktoo in Race 5. His silks are mustard yellow and forest green. Twenty bucks says he comes in dead last. Why?

Aha…there you go. The glimmer’s back in your eye. So now you wanna hear more? You’re making the right choice stickin’ by me. Don’t take my word for it though. Just watch me place this quinella box bet with the easy of a young Fred Astaire, dancing all the way to the bank. Trust me. I know what I’m doing.

You might be wondering how I became such an expert in deciphering the hidden meaning of the silks. Well, it’s a convoluted art. Fortunately, I hold a degree from the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion. I’ve made a lot of clothes in my day, and I know how colors affect people. Horses are no different. The jockey wears the clothes, the horse wears the jockey, so in a way the silks belong to the four-legged beauties.

Seabiscuit was a fast horse, sure. But he also had an affinity for red, the color of his jockey’s silks. His jockey was even named Red. That and a polka dot jersey? Unstoppable. It turned a swift horse into a powerhouse. Here’s another tip—are you writing this down? Write it down. Spotted horses don’t like horizontal stripes. It confuses them, makes ‘em feel ugly.

And another thing, I was born in 1966, the year of the horse. So come with me kid, and I’ll show you how it’s done. Oh! Drats. I left my wallet in my other three-piece jacket. Wanna cover this one for me? I’ll give you a cut of the winnings. What d’ya say sport?

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